Eaton Reports Fourth Quarter Net Income and Operating Earnings Per Share of $1.12

Date: 2017/3/07

Announces Net Income and Operating Earnings Guidance for 2017 of $4.30-$4.60 Per Share

DUBLIN, Ireland ... Power management company Eaton Corporation plc (NYSE:ETN) today announced that net income and operating earnings per share were $1.12 for the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income per share in the fourth quarter of 2016 was down 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Operating earnings per share, which exclude $1 million of acquisition integration charges in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $14 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, were down 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015.

Sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $4.9 billion, down 4 percent from the same period in 2015. The sales decrease consisted of 3 percent from a decline in organic sales and 1 percent from negative currency translation.

Craig Arnold, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Our fourth quarter net income and operating earnings per share were above the midpoint of our guidance despite fourth quarter sales coming in 1 percent lower than our expectations. The shortfall in sales resulted solely from higher negative currency translation due to the rise in the U.S. dollar following the U.S. election. Our organic sales for the quarter came in slightly better than expected, and some segments showed modestly improved order trends.

"During the quarter, we were able to resolve several insurance matters, some of which we had been working on for many years," said Arnold. "In total, the income from insurance matters was approximately $70 million. In light of this income, we decided to move forward in the fourth quarter on an additional $70 million of restructuring actions. As a result, we had $90 million of restructuring costs in the fourth quarter, making our full-year 2016 restructuring costs a total of $211 million.

"Due to the accelerated restructuring, our segment margins in the fourth quarter were 14.6 percent," said Arnold. "Excluding restructuring costs incurred in the quarter, our segment margins were 16.3 percent compared to 16.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Our operating cash flow in the fourth quarter was $638 million," said Arnold. "Cash flow was modestly reduced by our decision to put $100 million into our U.S. qualified pension plan in the quarter. We continued to return substantial cash to our shareholders, repurchasing $163 million of our shares in the quarter. For all of 2016, our repurchases totaled $730 million, 2.6 percent of our shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.

"Looking at our full-year 2016 results, our operating earnings per share were $4.22 compared to the midpoint of our initial guidance for 2016 of $4.30," said Arnold. "Given that our organic sales came in $200 million lower than our original guidance due to weaker end markets, we were pleased with how well our team executed during the year. Operating cash flow for the year was a record $2.6 billion, and the ratio of free cash flow to net income was 107 percent. Free cash flow as a percentage of sales was a record 10.4 percent.

"For 2017, we expect net income and operating earnings per share to be between $4.30 and $4.60, representing a 6 percent increase at the midpoint of our guidance in net income per share over 2016 and a 5 percent increase at the midpoint of our guidance in operating earnings per share over 2016," said Arnold. "Our guidance is based on flat organic revenue and negative currency translation of $300 million. We anticipate net income and operating earnings per share for the first quarter of 2017 to be between $0.80 and $0.90.

"We have not factored any of the proposals of the new U.S. administration into our guidance for the year, in light of uncertainty about which policies will finally be enacted and when the policies will take effect," said Arnold.

Business Segment Results
Sales for the Electrical Products segment were $1.7 billion, flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. Organic sales were up 1 percent and currency translation was negative 1 percent. Operating profits, excluding acquisition integration charges of $1 million during the quarter, were $317 million, up 4 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Our operating margins in the fourth quarter were 18.4 percent, and excluding restructuring costs of $17 million, 19.4 percent," said Arnold. "Our orders in the fourth quarter were up 3 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, driven by growth in the Americas and APAC, while EMEA was flat. We saw particular strength in the Americas in residential devices and lighting, and in APAC we saw particular strength in power quality."

Sales for the Electrical Systems and Services segment were $1.5 billion, down 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Organic sales were down 2 percent and currency translation was negative 1 percent. Segment operating profits were $177 million, down 15 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, with the decline driven by restructuring costs of $29 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 versus $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Our operating margins were 12.2 percent, and excluding restructuring costs, 14.2 percent," said Arnold. "Our margins continue to be negatively impacted by weakness in large industrial projects and oil and gas markets.

"Orders in the fourth quarter were down 7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, driven by a decline in the Americas. The Americas decline was largely due to weakness in large industrial projects and oil and gas orders," said Arnold. "Orders in APAC showed double-digit growth during the quarter as a result of strong project orders while EMEA orders were flat."

Hydraulics segment sales were $520 million, down 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Organic sales were down 5 percent and currency translation was negative 1 percent. Operating profits in the fourth quarter were $37 million, a decrease of 40 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, with the decline driven by restructuring costs of $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 versus a recovery of $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Our operating margins in the quarter were 7.1 percent, and excluding restructuring costs, 11.5 percent," said Arnold. "Hydraulics orders in the fourth quarter of 2016 were up a solid 8 percent, with growth in all geographic regions. Orders were particularly strong from mobile OEMs."

Aerospace segment sales were $425 million, down 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, entirely due to negative currency translation. Operating profits in the fourth quarter were $84 million, up 9 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Our operating margins in the quarter were 19.8 percent," said Arnold. "Orders in the quarter were down 1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. We saw particular strength in commercial and military transports, as well as military rotorcraft. Business jets and military fighters were weak."

The Vehicle segment posted sales of $741 million, down 12 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, entirely due to a decline in organic sales. Operating profits in the fourth quarter were $97 million, down 37 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Operating profits were impacted by restructuring costs of $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 versus $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Our operating margins in the quarter were 13.1 percent, and excluding restructuring costs, 14.8 percent," said Arnold.

"North American Class 8 truck production was 228,000 units in 2016, slightly above our last forecast. Automotive markets around the world were generally strong in 2016, with record volumes in the U.S. and China," said Arnold. "We expect NAFTA Class 8 production in 2017 to be flat and global light vehicle markets to show modest growth."

Eaton is a power management company with 2016 sales of $19.7 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 95,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries.

Notice of conference call: Eaton’s conference call to discuss its fourth quarter results is available to all interested parties as a live audio webcast today at 10 a.m. United States Eastern time via a link on the center of Eaton’s home page. This news release can be accessed under its headline on the home page. Also available on the website prior to the call will be a presentation on fourth quarter results, which will be covered during the call.

This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning first quarter 2017 operating earnings and net income per share, full-year 2017 operating earnings and net income per share, 2017 organic revenue growth, the effects of currency translation, and growth in our end markets. These statements should be used with caution and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside the company’s control. The following factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: unanticipated changes in the markets for the company’s business segments; unanticipated downturns in business relationships with customers or their purchases from us; competitive pressures on sales and pricing; unanticipated changes in the cost of material and other production costs, or unexpected costs that cannot be recouped in product pricing; the introduction of competing technologies; unexpected technical or marketing difficulties; unexpected claims, charges, litigation or dispute resolutions; strikes or other labor unrest; the performance of recent acquisitions; unanticipated difficulties integrating acquisitions; new laws and governmental regulations; interest rate changes; changes in tax laws or tax regulations; stock market and currency fluctuations; and unanticipated deterioration of economic and financial conditions in the United States and around the world. We do not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Financial Results
The company’s comparative financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016.